Tags: urban planning

Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 4 design

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation has released plans for Pier 4, one of six piers along Brooklyn’s northern waterfront that will be incorporated into the in-development Brooklyn Bridge Park.  The Pier 4 site, like the rest of the 85-acre park, has been designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.


Active Design Guidelines released

The City of New York has just released a new publication and policy initiative called Active Design Guidelines: Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Design.  The guidelines, which have been developed through an interagency effort in collaboration with professional and academic institutions, make simple and accessible recommendations about how design of built features in the City can and should address public health concerns related to obesity and physical activity. 


Dubai land art/power plant design competition

The Land Art Generator Initiative is hosting an international design competition to design outdoor public art installations that generate renewable energy–in Dubai.  While the United Arab Emirates has made most of its wealth by exploiting oil reserves, Dubai has become an international hub for innovative architecture and infrastructure projects due to its dizzyingly rapid pace of development. 


Current landscape and waterfront exhibits

A couple of exciting exhibitions and projects featuring the built and natural environments are currently underway at the MoMA and P.S.1.  The MoMA exhibition, “In Situ: Architecture and Landscape”, opened last April and will be running through February 22nd. 


City as garbage as City

A design proposal that seemed almost inevitable: New York-based architects Terreform propose the employment of automated robots in reusing garbage sited within the Fresh Kills Landfill to construct buildings and islands.  The robots, refashioned from existing industrial equipment, would compact garbage into stackable units and be assembled like building blocks.


Eco-park to restore polluted Canarsie wetlands

The City of New York has announced a $15 million project to clean up 38 acres of wetlands adjacent to the Paerdegat Basin Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Facility on Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn.  According to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the project–slated for completion in 2012–will begin this Spring to improve water quality in the Paerdegat Basin by re-introducing native plants to the salt marsh and grassland habitats.


Sustainability in higher education

The New York Times documents a rise in university programs focused on sustainability, especially regarding the urban environment.  The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education lists nine universities with master’s and doctoral programs in urban sustainability studies.  Most of these programs are interdisciplinary in nature, like the new graduate program at the City College of New York that will focus on sustainability in the urban environment, incorporating the approaches of architecture, engineering and science. 


Revamping Cleveland’s Public Square

Landscape architecture and urban design firm James Corner Field Operations has prepared three new design proposals re-imagining Cleveland’s Public Square.  The downtown park is bisected by two roads and perceived, in its current state, as a dead zone between skyscrapers. 


The New Yorker’s architecture year in review

The New Yorker has published a list of the Ten Most Positive Architectural Events of 2009.  Highlights from the NYC-focused list include:

  • the opening of the High Line on Manhattan’s west side;
  • the pedestrianization of Broadway, a project transforming public space spearheaded by Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn;
  • the publishing of two books on architecture and the city: 1) Wrestling with Moses by Anthony Flint on the historic struggle between Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses, and 2)Twenty Minutes in Manhattan by Michael Sorkin on the author’s changing experience of the city as manifested in his daily walk from his home in Greenwich Village to his studio in Chelsea;
  • Cooper Union’s opening of 41 Cooper Square, a new academic building making Cooper Union NYC’s first LEED Platinum certified school.

Garbage Problems

In 2002, a year after the Department of Sanitation and and the Municipal Arts Society announced the design competition for the reuse of the Fresh Kills landfill, the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) embarked on an investigative project called Garbage Problems aimed at understanding the processes behind waste management in New York City. 


Brownfield remediation workshop this Thursday

The NYC Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation (MOER)  is sponsoring a free workshop this Thursday on “Green Remediation and Sustainability.”  The workshop is the third in a series of events aimed at encouraging brownfield redevelopment and will include an introduction to MOER’s Local Brownfield Clean-up Program, quantitative tools for measuring sustainability at brownfield sites and presentations on remediation projects at both the local and national level. 


Orange County Great Park launches first phase

The first phase of development is underway for 1,347-acre brownfield transformation project Orange County Great Park.  $65.5 million will fund the expansion of a 27.5-acre “Preview Park,” which opened in 2008 and features an observation balloon providing visitors a high-flying view of the entire site. 


Pop-up parks

[vimeo= http://vimeo.com/6686323]

LentSpace is a 37,000 square foot temporary park and cultural space at Canal and Sullivan Streets in lower Manhattan.  The site opened to the public on September 18th–Park(ing) Day–and is on loan to the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council for three years from Trinity Real Estate, which hopes to build on it when the City’s real estate market improves. 


NYC commissioners roundtable interview

In a roundtable conversation hosted by The Architects’ Newspaper, four New York City Commissioners–Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Design and Construction Commissioner David Burney, Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden, and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe–discuss recently designed and developed projects as well as what they believe is achievable during Mayor Bloomberg’s next four years, especially given tightening fiscal constraints. 


NYC biking up 26% in 2009

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-HuSOeDUH4&w=507&h=370]

According to the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), biking in New York City has increased by 26% in 2009.  This is following a 35% increase in 2008 and corresponds with 200 miles of new striped or separated bike routes developed over the past three years. 


NYC Environmental Transformations Conference

On Monday, the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities is holding a one-day conference called In the Wake of the Half Moon: Environmental Transformation of the New York Metropolitan Region: 1609-2109.  The discussion will center on current, former and future transformation of the City’s environment and the challenges to that transformation. 


Concrete Plant Park opens in the Bronx

Recently opened Concrete Plant Park, in the Bronx, sits on the seven-acre site of a concrete plant that operated from the late 1940s through 1987.  The park has retained some of its industrial past in the form of newly-painted silos, hoppers and conveyors, structures that once served as mixing facilities and now distinguish the park as sculptural monuments to the site’s evolution. 


High Line-inspired projects

Inspired by the success of the High Line, proposals to reimagine abandoned rail lines have popped up all over the country.

  • Faced with the replacement of a section of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge, Rael San Fratello Architects have proposed the creation of the Bay Line, a hanging neighborhood complete with housing, cultural and commercial buildings and bike and pedestrian paths. 

Wrestling with Moses

This Friday, journalist and land policy expert Anthony Flint will be discussing and signing his new book, Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City at the Greenbelt Nature Center on Staten Island. 


New efforts to bridge government-community divide

Submissions to NYC BigApps are currently being accepted for software applications that make the City’s data sets accessible and usefully legible to the public, with the goals of  fostering greater accountability and transparency of government operations as well as providing better tools for public policy advocacy and grassroots action. 


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